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Western Canon Book Club: Oedipus the King and Other Theban Plays

Thursday February 8 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm EST

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Join host Joseline Yu to delve into the world of Greek tragedy through a discussion on Sophocles’ Oedipus the King and other Theban plays, as part of the Western Canon Book Club series.

Sophocles’ Oedipus the King presents the most well-known version of the story about the doomed king trapped from birth to death by a prophecy that he will kill his father and sleep with his mother. What’s less clear-cut is how much of his suffering is his own fault. Treating the play as a cautionary tale lets the audience glimpse at the measure of control that mortals have over their own lives even while living out a tragic destiny fixed by the gods.

In this salon, we’ll discuss the tropes of the hero’s tragic flaw and excessive pride in Greek tragedy which guide Oedipus towards his inevitable downfall in Oedipus the King. We’ll explore whether there is any truth in the ‘Oedipal Complex’, as coined by Sigmund Freud. We’ll also look at Sophocles’ two other plays about Oedipus and his family to talk about whether the characters display heroism through their suffering.

Selected passages from Robert Fagles’ translation of Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone will be shared during the salon. Those who have yet to read or finish the text are welcome to join!


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Thursday February 8
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm EST
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